The latest version of Apple’s mobile operating system, iOS8 for iPhone and iPad now supports third party keyboard apps like SwiftKey, Swype, and Flesky. These keyboard apps are widely used on Android platform by the users and now Apple has given Android users one more reason to move on Apple iOS 8 platform.
Apple has opened the floodgates for third party keyboard developers, previously stuck on Android, to come over to iOS8. The WWDC 2014 event had many new announcements for developers and one of the biggest was the integration of third party keyboards onto the Apps Store.
Ever since the start of iOS, there has been one unified keyboard that every single app had to use, Apple’s own. In 2013, Tim Cook said keyboards would be something they want to open up and this was confirmed, coming to iOS8 alongside other new third party integration through Extensibility.
SwiftKey, Swype and Fleksy have all announced they will be adding an app on the iOS8 Apps Store, allowing users to purchase their keyboard. SwiftKey is the most well known and popular keyboard on Android and we wouldn’t be surprised to see it top the charts on iOS.
Swype is another nice keyboard and the first to show off the swype keyboard, which may others like SwiftKey and Google have adopted. Fleksy is another popular third party keyboard on Android and hopes to get their app onto the store as soon as possible.
SwiftKey has always been a big iOS supporter, even before the announcement they already had the SwiftKey Note app available to try the keyboard out. Now they will be able to integrate the keyboard onto every single app and make even more revenue from the app.
Developers are obviously very excited about the possibility of Apple opening up iOS8 to customisation, considering they have had to work around Apple’s many barriers in the past. The revenue per user is still heavily on Apple’s side and removing the barrier will open up more revenue.
This does bring into question what exactly Google is going to do to combat Apple’s rather aggressive moves at WWDC, we hope Google I/O will show off some incredible new features for Android to make us feel like we have a real competition on our hands.